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Labor Law Attorney Overview

Lawyer Assistance in Employment Disputes Involving Unions

The laws in the United States allow employees to form unions and engage in collective bargaining with their employers. When doing so, employees have certain rights and responsibilities, and their employers must follow the rules defined in state and federal laws.

When engaging in collective bargaining, it is important to work with an experienced employment law attorney. A skilled lawyer can ensure that employers follow the correct laws and procedures during union negotiations, and they can also represent employees if disputes with a union arise.

Labor Law and Collective Bargaining

While each state has its own laws defining the processes and procedures an employer must use when negotiating with unions, these laws must remain in compliance with the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Unions and labor law are overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Depending on state laws, workers in certain industries may not have the right to organize or join a union.

Collective bargaining gives employees the power to negotiate with employers as a group rather than as individuals, and a union may negotiate on workers' behalf to reach agreements on issues such as wages and hours, benefits, promotions and raises, vacation and sick time, and disciplinary rules and procedures. These negotiations may also address concerns related to worker safety or employers' policies.

A union will typically negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with an employer. A CBA functions as a legally binding contract that outlines the agreements made between employers and employees and specifies the rules that both parties must follow. A CBA may also include terms stating that future disputes between employers and employees should be resolved through methods of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration or mediation.

Union representatives are required to represent employees fairly and equally, and they must enter negotiations with an employer in good faith. Unions must also follow certain rules regarding the election of officers, the disclosure of information to members, and the management of union funds.

A skilled labor law attorney can work with a union to ensure that employers are following applicable state and federal laws and that collective bargaining agreements contain the terms that provide employees with the rights and protections they deserve. If you believe that you are not being treated fairly and equally by a union or that your employer has violated your right to engage in collective bargaining, you should work with an experienced lawyer to determine your best options for resolving your legal disputes.

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